The opening odds start here
(1) Ohio St -15 over (8) Wisconsin:
As we march toward the Big 10 Championship battle between #1 Ohio St (12-0 9-0) and #8 Wisconsin (10-2 7-2), we are reminded that this will be a solidified rematch with championship implications and bad blood involved but played in more ideal conditions inside Lucas Oil Stadium the second time around. In their last meeting head to head which took place Oct 26th in rainy Columbus, the Buckeyes mired by a slow start ended with a flurry of a finish in topping the Badgers 38-7 thanks to a 4 TD second half. JK Dobbins (20-163 8.2 2 TD) exposed a solid Wisconsin rushing defense with scoring runs of 9 and 14 yards, and Josh Fields (12/22 167 2 TD) connected twice with Chris Olave (8-97 2 TD). Ohio St outgained Wisconsin 438-191, recorded 24 first downs and forced 3 turnovers in the romp while limiting Jack Coan (10/17 108 1 TD) and Jonathan Taylor (20-52 2.6), as the only offense Wisky could muster was a 26 yard TD pass from Coan to AJ Taylor. Undefeated OSU and 2 loss Wisconsin already knew their fates to get here and were victorious in their tuneups prior. The Buckeyes mauled than 13th ranked Michigan 56-27 last week as Fields (14/25 302 4 TD) overcame injury and exposed Harbaugh and company from pillar to post. Dobbins (31/211 6.8 4 TD) set season highs across the board on the ground, and Fields distributed scoring passes to 4 different receivers led by Garrett Wilson (3-118 1 TD). Shea Patterson (18/43 305 1 TD 1 INT) played out of desperation after a virtually even first quarter and was harassed all afternoon despite Chase Young being a non-factor. Hassan Haskins (12-78 6.5) and Giles Jackson (3-26 8.7 1 TD) each found the end zone but the Wolverines were held to just 91 rushing yards. Wisconsin shook off a slow starting first half by scoring 4 times in the second half making mincemeat out of previously 8th ranked Minnesota 38-17. Coan (15/22 280 2 TD) delivered 2 momentum shifting TD passes to Quintez Ceephus (5-114 1 TD) and Jonathan Taylor (2-39 1 TD). Taylor also ran for 2 scores (18-76 4.2 2 TD) leading a Badgers offense methodical but dominating on the ground producing 173 yards. Tanner Morgan (20/37 296 2 TD 1 INT) although engineering a brief lead early thanks to a 51 yard scoring pass to Rashod Bateman (6-147 1 TD) just 3:00 into the contest, could not finish up drives, especially in crunch time. The Golden Gophers also got no help from their running game limited to just 76 yards while Morgan was picked off once and lost a couple of fumbles.

Fields (189/277 2654 37 TD 1 INT) has been the real deal all season long and will represent one of the Heisman finalists when the smoke clears right before Championship time. His pocket mobility, ability to run the ball (111-470 4.2 10 TD), accuracy and arm strength make him one of the premier draft picks should he decide to forego his final 2 years of eligibility. Of course it helps to have versatility in the receoving core led by Olave (41-705 11 TD), KJ Hill (44-486 8 TD) and Binjimen Victor (29-480 6 TD) in your arsenal. In addition, Dobbins (250-1657 6.6 19 TD) is among the elite in the nation on the ground and could be joining his teammate for Heisman supremacy. Master Teague III (128-780 6.1 4 TD) is a solid counterpart capable of more than just a backup role pounding the ball as both display blazing speed in the open field. Folks, this Ohio St offense keeps clicking on all cylinders game in and game out, even against the most intriguing defenses on paper and on the field. Their offense averages nearly 50 points overall and 535 total yards. If you;re the Wisconsin defense, you can only hope to contain the aforementioned. While the Buckeyes were 'held' to 38 points in adverse conditions, this is the championship stage and demands and conditions will be more challenging indoors. The tandem of Chris Orr and Zack Baun, who lead the Badgers with 12 sacks apiece, will have to apply intense pressure on Fields in order to change the gameplan attack of the Buckeyes. Orr leads Wisconsin with 72 tackles while 3 players each have a couple of picks. Problem is that Fields is so accurate, it would take a subpar performance in order for OSU to make necessary mistakes needed for the Badgers to have a shot given their offense attacks much more methodically and far from toe to toe.

Coan (196/271 2309 17 TD 4 INT) relies moreso on efficiency and accuracy rather than mobility and gaining yards in bunches. The 6'3" junior did overcome a slow start thanks to making better decisions and minimize on his errant passes and turnovers. However, their crown jewel lies in the running game behind Taylor (279-1761 6.6 20 TD) , whom despite an incredible season slowed down a bit once conference play commenced. Still, the junior amassed 9 games this season with over 100 yards, and even ran off 3 straight of 200+ before being limited to just 76 last week. Coan is limited in the receiving core as Cephus (45-720 6 TD) is his lone playmaker weapon downfield relied heavily in 3rd and long situations. Wisconsin is no slouch offensively averaging 36 points per contest and gaining 442 yards per contest, but aren't the type to play with urgency as their defense usually sets the tone early preferring to bleed clock with outcomes late in control. However, Ohio St isn't just all about offense, as their defense is top ranked allowing just 12 points per contest and 223 total yards not allowing more than 21 points at anytime until last week's win over Michigan. Young, tops on the Buckeyes with 17 sacks, missed a couple of games due to suspension of NCAA violations. He also forced a team high 8 fumbles in addition to his 38 tackles, coming at opposing QB's like a relentless freight train. Malik Harrison is also a beast with 64 tackles and 5 sacks, as is Davoun Hamilton, while Jeffery Okudah plays a intimidating center field registering 4 of his team's 15 picks.

I think Wisconsin will do more to try and take advantage of the loaded box they're going to see from Ohio State. Since these two teams met, the Badgers have tweaked some and are far less reliant on Taylor. The big question is how much will UW be able to stretch the field while keeping Chase Young, who had four sacks in the first meeting, off Jack Coan. Not enough in my opinion. This might be one of the most talented, highly energized, well oiled machines we have ever seen in Ohio St. Given the indoor theme, Fields' experience and maturity,as well as usage of weapons in the backfield and in the receiving core, the gampelan will be the same as advertised attacking up the middle and at the corners with a mix of run and pass to the delight of Ryan Day's scheming. Young and company will simply be too much for Wisconsin to handle limiting the quality of plays in setting the tone early for the championship hungry Buckeyes.

Best of luck however you play!
YTD 14-12-2 .536 +.20